Sports fans saddened by Cebo Manyaapelo's death

Cebo Manyaapelo  will be remembered for  his in-depth, factual, well informed and yet playful commentary. /Gallo Images/Drum/Fani Mahuntsi
Cebo Manyaapelo will be remembered for his in-depth, factual, well informed and yet playful commentary. /Gallo Images/Drum/Fani Mahuntsi

Cebo Manyaapelo, the charismatic sportscaster and Motsweding FM presenter passed away at a Mahikeng hospital yesterday afternoon.

Manyaapelo had been battling an undisclosed disease for the past few months, according to family friends, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The last time he was on air was in September.

It is understood that he travelled from his home in Mahikeng to Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto for treatment, and his death came two days before a charity-benefit golf day organised by colleagues and well-wishers.

The aim was to raise funds for his growing medical bill.

Confirming his death, SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said, in a statement, that the public broadcaster was heartbroken.

"Mr Manyaapelo will be remembered for his immense contribution at the SABC as the former Motsweding FM breakfast host for the programme Bosele in 1998."

Manyaapelo later became a sports presenter for Mamepe, a sports programme on Motsweding FM.

He launched his television career as a sports commentator for Laduma in 1998, up until his death.

He worked on special events such as the Fifa World Cup in 1998 and again in 2010, and the Afcon 2013 and 2015.

Manyaapelo, said Kganyago, had a rich history in broadcasting which dated back to 1984 as a sports presenter for the erstwhile Radio Bop.

"Cebo, as he was affectionately known to millions of South Africans, was one of the best sports commentators in the country. His in-depth, factual, well informed and yet playful commentary captivated many football fanatics to the SABC channels. His ability to use Setswana for football commentary inspired many youngsters and attracted them to sports.

"The country has lost a very great man in Cebo Manyaapelo, and his work will continue to bring us great insight and understanding of the world of sport for decades to come."

The details of his memorial and funeral service will be announced in due course.

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